CART ACE II - Project 2: Joint Engagement in Infants at Risk for ASD

Project summary

This "Baby JASPER" study uses a historically successful parent-mediated intervention to address the autism-specific social and communicative delays in infants, and uses active models of adult learning to achieve these effects, which may result in better child developmental outcomes. The intervention model (a) targets the foundations of social-communication (joint attention, imitation, play), (b) uses naturalistic strategies to increase the rate and complexity of social-communication and (c) includes parents as implementers of the intervention to promote generalization across settings and activities and to ensure maintenance over time. We will examine whether this method is superior to an early intervention focused on global infant development.

Because brain development occurs rapidly in infants and toddlers, we will use high density EEG to investigate (1) biomarkers of change in these infants as a result of intervention and (2) biomarkers predicting response to treatment, with focus on the neural correlates of social attention and learning from joint engagement.

Primary Investigator: 
Connie Kasari, Ph.D.
Other Investigators: 
Amanda Gulsrud and Tanya Paparella